How you deal with a hangover likely puts you in one of two camps: a) you hide away in bed binge-watching Netflix, and the closest you get to going outside is opening the door for the Deliveroo driver, or b) you get up at 8am, make a green smoothie filled with all sorts of potions, and force yourself to the gym to sweat it out at a hardcore spin class.
Working out to cure your hangover is a long-contested theory, and like many other tried and tested hangover cures, you either love the idea or you hate it. But can sweating out the eight gin and tonics you had last night really cure your pounding head… or can it actually do more harm than good?
First and foremost, alcohol is a diuretic, and heading to a workout after a big night of drinking will only further your dehydration, as well as give you a lack of coordination that is likely to end in injury. This can also cause you to feel physically drained, fatigued and nauseous – all of which aren’t exactly things we’re looking for in a hangover cure!
However, those of the “sweat it out” mentality would argue that the endorphins (aka. happy hormones!) released by exercise can help to boost your mood and can even curb those classic hangover cravings for everything salty or sweet.
So, whose advice should you take?
Our top tip would be to move mindfully and get the benefits of exercise without doing further damage to your body. Try some at home yoga to boost your circulation and help you feel rejuvenated, or even head outside for a walk. It might sound like a terrible idea at the time, but the light activity and fresh air will do wonders for your pounding head. You’ll feel less ‘mehh’ than if you spent the whole day lying on the sofa, but you aren’t risking injury or extreme dehydration. We understand that your motivation to get active on a hangover won’t exactly be sky high, so to compromise, just promise yourself you’ll do 10 minutes. It seems easy to achieve which makes it easier to get started, and if you’re feeling better after 10 minutes you can keep going, exceeding all your expectations! Otherwise, call it a and recognise that doing something was better than nothing.
Whatever you decide to do, keep a water bottle by your side at all times and drink water it's your job. Focusing on proper hydration and good quality sleep is the most important thing in the long run as it’ll mean you’re much more likely to feel back to normal come Monday morning without any lingering effects – because nothing gets your week off to a bad start more than a two-day hangover!